What if emergency responders and utilities knew in advance how storms might compromise specific power grids? Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed software that uses weather models, Google Earth, and other tools to forecast how storms will do just that. VERDE, or Visualizing Energy Resources Dynamically on Earth, combines data about  storms’ paths and nearby utility systems so that researchers can analyze the damage that is likely to take place and work with utility companies to mitigate and respond to outages.

Although scientists have long been able to triangulate and analyze storm data, until now the process was a cumbersome and time consuming task, and therefore less likely to produce the kind of up-to-the-minute information needed as weather systems change ahead of a storm. The new software automates the entire process, churning out up-to-date about how infrastructure might be damaged within just 15 minutes of receiving a weather advisory. The application could be used to predict and mitigate damage from other natural disasters as well.

How can your company or industry benefit from seeing, in real time, how power outages might impact operations?

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